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Jun 06

Chapter 76: Capture!

Chapter 76: Capture!

In Which There Are Hares.

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Chris: Holst opens his eyes to the bleak morning light, wiping the cold sweat from his forehead.

Arrin: From over by the remains of their small fire, Soquan turns towards the source of movement. “Morning.”

Catamount: From her vantage point, Jozra’s ears twitch back towards the camp. She sheaths her weapon, finally feeling familiar and comfortable with it again after it had felt so alien when she had taken it back from Holstadt. She stretches a little and meanders back into the camp proper.

Chris: Holst nods at the both of them and packs up his bedroll. “I assume watch was alright?”

Catamount: The ferret stoops to pack up her own share of the load. “Nothing worth mentioning, unless you count that strange looking moth.”

Arrin: Soquan snickers softly at the ferret’s statement, and is quick to send Jozra’s breakfast towards her, in projectile form.

Chris: Holst merely cocks an eyebrow as he slips his gloves on with the characteristic creak of well-kept leather.

Catamount: Jozra grabs quickly, the flying method of meal delivery was rather unexpected. She stuffs it into her mouth and mutters a ‘thanks’ as she finishes up her packing.

Arrin: Soquan sends a “You’re welcome” towards the ferret before turning to Holst.
“Hungry?”

Chris: Holst shakes his head.

Arrin: The otter nods and rises while closing his pack. “Right then. Should we head out?”

Catamount: Jozra swallows the last of her breakfast and pulls her pack strings tight. She hefts it onto her back and resettles the sheath at her hip. Only a few days traveling together and already the three had gotten into a slick routine in the morning. The camp was gone. “Yeah, let’s go.”

Chris: Holst grins at the two wryly. “Just one minute…” He adjusts his collar, settles his chain across his shoulders, and smoothes his neck fur. “Alright, let’s go.”

Arrin: With that motion from the fox, the trio set into motion for the day, traveling most the time in semi-comfortable silence, with a few bouts of conversation. Finally, just before lunch, hints of a town can be seen ahead.

Catamount: Jozra is having a hard time hiding her apprehension as they approach the town but somehow she manages it. A road sign not too far back had confirmed ahead of time that this was the same town Azrun had left a message about.

Chris: Holst breathes a sigh of relief. “Finally some civilization. Decent bedding, decent bathing, hustle and bustle. I don’t know how beasts live without it.”

Arrin: Soquan shoots the fox a grin. “I do it all the time.”

Catamount: The ferret peers up ahead at a building standing apart from the city. “Looks like we need to go that-a way if we want to actually enter the town.”

Chris: Holst nods and begins to notice the demeanor of the guards as they approach the building. The stout hares didn’t appear too happy to see the trio. Normally, he would’ve brushed that off as normal. His gut didn’t feel right, though. And in his experience that had more bearing than any of his other senses. He begins to mutter, “Guys…”

Catamount: Jozra’s gut is telling her the same thing, though in her case she has Azrun’s message to add to the feeling. They need to check out the town, though. “Maybe they just got a pay cut today?” Her excuse for their demeanor sounds lame even to her ears. Focus, Joz…

Arrin: Soquan subtlety changes his grip on his staff as he hears his companion’s statements, quickly trying to cast his hearing towards the group of guards. “What’s going on?”

Chris: Holst notices one of the guards nod, but he was looking beyond the trio. In his periphery, dark, menacing shapes emerged from the foliage. The other guard’s steely gaze bore into Holst as he grips a short sword. Holst’s paw begins to tighten on his chain as he pulls it free from his shoulders.

Catamount: Jozra’s brain whirrs as she takes all of this in. Azrun’s message had been vague enough that she wasn’t expecting obvious hostility from the city’s guards. Her right paw slowly strays towards the long-knife at her hip but it is her left that already has a weapon in paw. One of the small black throwing-knives has been concealed within very easy reach.

Arrin: Soquan slowly adjusts his stance and grips his staff tightly, his companion’s silence to his question is more than enough for him to realize there’s trouble.

Chris: Holst spins around, pulling his whirling chain out deftly as he surveys their ambushers. Ten so far, weapons drawn. There was no choice. Holst whispers to his companions, “Go.”

Catamount: The hares were quick. They had already been prepared for a fight before the three realized what was going on. “GET. THEM.” Jozra’s right paw darts the last few inches and frees her blade whilst her left plucks the black blade from its hiding place, her wrist coiled ready to fling when… she hesitates as memories from Ostoria come flooding back.

Arrin: The otter’s staff moves quickly at the fox’s word. The otter moves his weapon in dizzying patterns and blurs as he takes down his opponents. His ears perk up as he hears more paw steps and shouts a warning to the ferret a few feet away. “Behind you, Jozra!”

Chris: Holding it with both paws, Holst swings his chain across the face of one of his attackers. He lets one end go full circle to wrap around the neck of another as his paw reaches for his dagger. He pulls the hare forward, the blade finding a home between the hare’s ribs.

Catamount: Jozra jerks her head to the side at Soquan’s warning and, reflexively, the little black blade spins away from her paw, embedding itself in the windpipe of one of the hares approaching from behind. And then, they’re in the midst of it. She brings the hilt of her blade up sharply, connecting it with another guard’s jaw.

Arrin: The chaos of battle very quickly becomes too much for the blind otter to handle.  While his senses are sharper than most beasts, they fail to keep up with his needs and the otter is steadily overwhelmed. Soquan falls to the ground from a hard hit to the back of the head.

Chris: Holst’s ears pick up the solid thud minus the clank of armor. He attempts to reel around, forgetting the dying, blood-sputtering beast he’s holding. The hare’s sheer size knocks Holst off-balance. Shortly, he’s panting with half a face in mud and three hares pinning his paws behind his back.

Catamount: Jozra sees the blow that felled Soquan from the corner of her eye and, in a rage; she lunges for the hare that did it and stabs him through a chink in his armor. She whirls and catches another a heavy kick to side of the head as she jerks her knife back out but then notices the arriving reinforcements and the three pinning Holst. A fist swings from the side and nails her in the jaw.

Chris: As the three are restrained the noise dies down and an authoritative voice is heard over the dying din. “Enough!” The hare’s grips tighten on Holst and Joz, but surprisingly the hares restraining Soq move away as a tall, slim, commander walks up and looks down at Soq. “We don’t know his motives yet.”

He looks over at Holst and Joz. “Put them all in A-cell, I’ll talk with them later.”

Catamount: The ferret scowls as they’re hauled off bodily, though at least the hares seem to be treating Soquan with some care. She’s surprised at how upset she is that her blade has been removed, though. She started out with two, now she has neither.  The commander watches the three as they’re taken away and then turns towards the task of having others clean up the battle field.

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